More Indians are now living in cities and towns than ever before. A little under half the 285 million urban Indians (Census 2001) – that is around 108 million – live in big cities with populations ranging from 100,000 to several million. But the other half lives in over 2,000 small and medium towns, some little more than villages on their way to becoming urbanized.
Little is known or written about this section of our urban population with the media focus and also that of much of academia and of planners – remaining firmly fixed on the larger cities, particularly our globalised million-plus cities.
The resultant socio-economic flux in which these small towns are engulfed provides the setting for our story. This section of India is still rather feudal, with the prosperous being on one side with the lawmakers and administrators. Leaving the ‘ordinary’ man to fight his own battles: of aspirations – jostling amongst teeming scores, at the threshold of the archway into the other side…
‘Paranoia’ is set in a small town in northern India where the lines between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ are drawn not just across geographies but even stronger in the mind. Is there some way in which Paranoia can be quantified in physical terms? Is there a physiognomy of Paranoia that we can put our fingers on and sense its onset? Or is it just something that hides deep in the recesses of our hearts, latent, viscerally waiting to suddenly engulf us in its delirium. Or is Paranoia just the fear of our past, our own actions catching up to square the accounts.
This film aims to probe the deep subcutaneous meaning of this emotion, which is fast becoming the only way of living for some people. This film aims to explore the cyclical manifestation of paranoia as it originates from one milieu, situation or person to move across varied social planes to have its repercussions erupt in some other world completely disconnected from where it originated. People, cultures and even nations find themselves at moments engulfed in the collective paranoia of the fear of the other. This film seeks to explore the socio economic factors, the human failings, the incapacity of humans to trust, which creates the “other”, and how as Frankenstein’s monster the same “other” comes back to make us paranoid.
Writer, Director : Bijesh Jayarajan
Director of Photography : Sanjay Nair
Editor: Subhash Jaiswal
Executive Producers: Rajeev Sharma, Ahraz Ahmed